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Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe


The Course

    An introduction to the art of the High Renaissance and Mannerist periods in Italy. Examples of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced in Italy between approximately 1500 and 1600 will be examined.

    High Renaissance and Mannerist Art in Italy is a LEVEL TWO course. It builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in LEVEL ONE introductory survey courses and assumes a certain level of competence in matters concerning basic identification information, visual analysis, and style. As a LEVEL TWO course, we will focus on questions of iconography (the study of subject matter and its conventional meaning), iconology (the study of subject matter and its contextual meaning), and symbolism. The aim is to develop an understanding of an artwork’s meaning and purpose in its original cultural context.

Meeting Place and Time

  • Pannell 202: Tuesday and Thursdays 3:00-4:15

Required Text

    Frederick Hartt and David G. Wilkins, History of Italian Renaissance Art, 6th edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2006)

    PLEASE NOTE: The required text is the 6th edition, which is much less expensive than the current 7th edition. Purchase a used or new copy through Amazon or wherever you can find the best price

Student Responsibilities

  • ONE RESEARCH PRESENTATION (8-12 pages, written in the form of paper, with footnotes, plus bibliography) presented in class with web-based or PowerPoint images. The presentation will focus on a selected painting (or group of paintings), piece of sculpture (or group of sculptures), or work of architecture (or architectural complex). The aim is to examine issues of iconographical and iconological significance that reach beyond what the textbook has to offer. The information and analysis you provide should serve to enhance our understanding of the topic in question. The paper will be handed in upon completion of the presentation.
  • ONE RESEARCH PAPER (10-15 pages, with footnotes, plus bibliography), based upon your Research Presentation. The paper will be completed under the supervision of your instructor. The Research Paper is due in my office by 5:00 p.m., Thursday, December 8
  • Active class participation, which includes being prepared for each class, and taking part in discussion


  • Research Presentation = 40%
  • Research Paper = 50%
  • Participation = 10%

Office and Hours

  • Pannell 203: Tuesdays 2:15-3:00 p.m. Other times by appointment
  • phone: 6194
  • email: